HB Rescue Pilot Dies in Crash (May 22 2010) – Hawkes Bay Today
A Hastings pilot killed when his helicopter hit power lines and crashed in Australia on Thursday has been identified as Lowe Corporation Rescue Service relief flyer and Hastings helicopter company owner Chris Mansell.
The 50-year-old father of two died when the helicopter hit power lines and plunged into a pine plantation while spraying at Ryton Junction, near Mirboo in the Gippsland area of Victoria, about 160km east of Melbourne.
The crash was almost identical to another in which Mr Mansell was injured in Hawke’s Bay 20 months ago.
Skyline Aviation managing director Mike Toogood, whose company provides the helicopter service to the Hawke’s Bay Helicopter Rescue Trust, said: “It’s pretty devastating, particularly after the earlier crash, and it’s hard to comprehend that he’s met his fate in such a similar situation.”
The owner of Bay Heliwork and having been in Australia for about two weeks on contract for a company whose helicopter he was flying at the time of the crash, Mr Mansell was a “very, very, competent” pilot, Mr Toogood said.